Rachel Boarman is a Certified Babywearing Consultant trained through the Center for Babywearing Studies. Rachel has completed both the Foundations and Progressions courses through the Center for Babywearing Studies. She maintains a babywearing instructional YouTube Channel under the username “Wrapping Rachel” which has over 80 babywearing instructional videos for all carrier types and nearly 2 million video views. Rachel volunteers as a Master Babywearing Educator for Babywearing International of Southern Maryland which she founded in 2012. Rachel does volunteer babywearing educator training and continuing education for BWI of Southern Maryland and serves as the chapter president. She also serves on the Babywearing International Education Committee, where she collaborates with other educators to create babywearing resources for caregivers and other babywearing educators. Rachel served for two years on the Board of Directors for Babywearing International as Education Coordinator. Rachel has taught a workshop at the International Babywearing Conference in 2014 on newborn babywearing and has been featured in her local news describing the benefits of babywearing. For more information on Rachel’s babywearing experience, please see her resume. Rachel is a passionate advocate of babywearing and loves helping caregivers and babies get comfortable with their baby carrier.
Q&A with Rachel
How did you get into babywearing?
When my first child was born, I had researched birth like it was my JOB! I read every Ina May book, watched every birth documentary, and read birth stories constantly. I was really well prepared for birth, but I had done no research about caring for a baby! Life with a newborn was quite a shock! I had never held a newborn before, much less taken care of one. Everything was new. She cried a lot and I had a hard time figuring out what was upsetting her. I also felt this huge shift in my life. I used to do yoga 4 times a week and run regularly and I suddenly felt chained to my house. Then one day my neighbor brought over a hand me down buckle carrier and asked if I could use it. My whole world changed! Suddenly, I could take a walk and not only would the baby not cry the whole time (like she did in her stroller), she’d fall asleep and I could just enjoy her sweet little self. I could unload the dishwasher and vacuum the floor and I suddenly felt like I could be productive again (even if just a little bit). This was a huge shift and I’m so grateful to that neighbor for introducing me to babywearing. It’s because of this experience that I’m so passionate about babywearing. Babywearing made parenthood joyful for me and made me really enjoy my children’s babyhood. Babywearing has given so much joy to me as a mother and to my family that I want to share it with as many people as I can.
How did you learn to wrap?
I learned a bit about wrapping from reading “choosing a baby carrier” type posts online. I was intrigued by the idea of a woven wrap and decided to buy one! One day I was walking around the mall with my baby in the wrap and a stranger came up to be and told me about thebabywearer.com and the local Babywearing group meetings. I attended the local meetings and learned so much! The baby wearer was an incredible source of information and babywearing help! I participated in all of the carry of the week threads and read posts in the wrap forums daily. After a few rounds of the carry of the week series, I really had wrapping down and I started to assist in running the carry of the week challenges.
What made you start a YouTube Channel?
One summer, we went to the beach with some friends and I took a few wraps and challenged myself to use all the carries I knew while we were there. A friend of ours said it was cool how many ways there were to wrap it and that I should make a YouTube channel. At the time, I kind of laughed the idea off because I’m not a camera person. I was the person who hid from cameras. However, after doing a few carry of the week challenges, I had a good idea of what resources were already available on YouTube and what was missing and I wanted to create resources to fill the gaps.
What was your first video?
My first video was of Half Jordan’s Back Carry. It was one of my go-to carries that I had learned on TBW. My husband held the camera and it took me three takes to stop giggling enough to actually teach the carry. Looking back, that video is kind of embarrassing because I know so many more tips for that carry now, but it was the one that I started with. After that, I made videos of my favorite front wrap cross carry variations which weren’t on YouTube yet (at least not that I could find). Then I had so much fun making them, that I just kept going. I never really imagined that a lot of people would watch them!
What advice would you give someone new to woven wraps?
You don’t need to learn EVERY carry out there. You need one carry that you can do in your sleep or when your baby is crying and you can’t think. Find the one carry that you love, that’s totally comfortable for you and then practice it until you can do it without thinking about it.
What advice would you give for someone just getting started with back wrapping?
For getting started back wrapping . . . . First off, if you can learn with the help of a babywearing educator or consultant, do! It’s so much easier to learn in person with an expert on wrapping. Second, be patient. Be so patient. It’s not a skill you will learn overnight unless you are super lucky. However, like all good things, it’s worth the work. Find a time of day that your baby is happy and rested and choose one carry to practice (maybe ruck, back wrap cross carry, or secure high back carry). Commit yourself to practicing that one carry every day at your baby’s happiest time of day. Maybe the first few times all you’ll do is put your baby up, have a few hairs pulled out of your head, and put your baby back down again. That’s okay. Have a laugh and take a selfie! (I promise you’ll love these first wrapping attempt pictures later!) Each day you’ll get a little better. Then one day, you’ll totally nail it without even looking in the mirror and the patience and hard work that you put into learning to wrap will be so worth it!